[Short Story] A Spark

[Writing Prompt] Even a roaring inferno must start from a spark.

I could remember the soft patter of rain on the windowsill. The soft hum of the heater. The churning of the washing machine. That day in its entirety burnt into my memory. I would get a letter that told me that my application to Harvard had been accepted. Tuition? Room and board? Monthly stipend? All there.

But here’s the thing, I never applied. But I’d be a fool to not accept.

When I arrived I realized why I was accepted. I had a rare genetic marker, the first of its kind. What it did, they didn’t know, but it fascinated them. It wasn’t a bad deal, really. Let them run tests and I attend an Ivy League.

After the fifth test, my fingers grew numb. Like electric ants were running through my fingertips. They asked me to go for a walk every morning. Meditate afterwards. Write down everything I do. By the end of the third month I was the president of the Track club.

After the fifth month passed, sparks would pass through my fingers. The researchers were so happy, their hypothesis was proven right. I was Ground Zero for the genetic marker that gave people extraordinary abilities.

I couldn’t do anything more than party sparks. But with that marker… humanity could become so much more. They nicknamed me Sparky, but I didn’t mind. I was making the world a better place just by existing! Not many people could say that!

The first human trials for gene alteration went abysmal. The gene responded a little too well and they burst into flames. After that, they studied the markers a bit more thoroughly. They found another marker, this one controlled the potency. They were tempted to alter mine but I convinced them otherwise. If they were wrong and somehow I ended up dead, their research would be for not.

They nodded and resumed the research until they could safely do human trials again. It was a success this time. Freed from my lab rat position, they altered the second marker but it didn’t nothing. I was still Sparky. I didn’t mind.

I finished my time at Harvard with a PhD in Biology. Figured I’d help out the researchers figure out this Golden Age of genetic abilities. Maybe one day, we’ll get someone who can control the growth rate of plants. That would solve world hunger.

And then, my hands caught fire and the sparks gave way to a beautiful blue fire that was cool to the touch. I would make the world a better place, I knew that for a fact.


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